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Green Liberal Democrats - Party Leadership Election Environmental Q&A 3) Green Deal

June 19, 2015 6:30 PM
By Tim Farron and Norman Lamb

The Green Liberal Democrats have sent the two leadership candidates a series of questions, to inform party members, through their responses, about their green credentials.

In the run up to our annual conference in Manchester on June 27th, we will be publishing their answers, one question at a time.

Q3. How can we continue to reduce energy demand, keeping alive the legacy of the Green Deal from the opposition benches?

Norman Lamb Norman Lamb

Tim FarronTim Farron

Liberal Democrats have always worked with those across the political spectrum to achieve change on the issues we care about, and in the coming parliament this principle will be more important than ever. There are many MPs from different parties who feel strongly about green issues: let's take the lead in building a green coalition within Parliament to push for the changes we know are needed. We should campaign to tackle the scandal of Britain's neglected victorian housing stock, the least energy efficient in Europe. Let's try and make the government invest in insulating our housing stock on a grand scale with an aim to insulate all homes with poor insulation - cutting bills and giving the equivalent of a tax cut to millions of households. We must keep fighting in local and national government for investment in cycling infrastructure, making our town and city centres greener and safer as well as boosting public health. But my first priority as leader will be building up our Parliamentary Party so that within a decade we can take action ourselves on these issues - without having to compromise with other parties in order to achieve change.

Given that the Conservative manifesto contained only the commitment to 'support low-cost measures on energy efficiency, with the goal of insulating a million more homes over the next five years, supporting our commitment to tackle fuel poverty', I don't hold out much hope for this agenda - a million homes is a pathetic target, considerably less than the coalition achieved. But we can continue to press the case for it, pointing out that energy-saving measures are often the most cost-effective way of reducing emissions, save NHS bills and considerably improve the quality of life of people living in fuel poverty - while at the same time generating jobs and prosperity across the country.